Justice delayed is justice denied

August marks the third anniversary of ISIS’ genocide of the Yazidis of northern Iraq. Significant international advocacy has been undertaken seeking justice for the international crimes perpetrated by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. But governments like Australia are perpetuating impunity by failing to investigate and prosecute their own nationals for the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated in Syria and Iraq.

Earlier this month, the Yazidi community in Australia commemorated the beginning of the genocide. The community continues to call for recognition of the genocide and prosecution of perpetrators. But these cries are falling on deaf ears. The parliament has not recognised the genocide and even the foreign fighters who are within the grasp of the government are not being investigated or charged.

Neil Prakash is being extradited to Victoria to face criminal charges, but he has not been charged with inciting genocide. Delaying justice till it is perceived that the war is over only allows evidence to be lost and destroyed. It is contrary to obligations under international law and allows perpetrators to die as they wish, as martyrs on the battlefield rather than genocidaires and international criminals locked away for life.

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